‘The Defenders’ is FINALLY heading to Netflix this summer and the new show will see Marvel’s four small-screen heroes join forces. We still don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, but here are ten things fans (and us) are really hoping for…
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR ALL PREVIOUS MARVEL/NETFLIX SHOWS.
Sigourney Weaver is…who?
We know that the ‘Alien’ icon plays a baddie called Alexandra, but fan theories are already sprouting as to whether her corporate exterior belies something a bit more comic-booky.
Rumours have been bubbling that the main antagonist in the show would be Mephisto, a demonic male character in the comics, but one who has the ability to shape-shift so could make himself look like Weaver (or indeed has just been gender-swapped for the series). Others think that maybe Alexandra is Iron Fist’s mum, which would certainly lend an extra frisson to the Defenders’ attempts to defeat her.
Alternatively, Alexandra is a female version of Alexander and some believe she might be a modern-day take on the comic’s villain Alexander Bont. The character first appeared in the ‘Daredevil’ books in 2004 and was an adversary of Matt Murdock’s crime fighter, even being revealed as Kingpin before Wilson Fisk came along.
The return of Blade
A reboot of the half-vampire hero has been in development for some time at Marvel, with star Wesley Snipes (who took on the role in the big screen version) admitting that he’d talked about bringing the character back to mentor his kickass daughter, Fallon.
And certainly the behaviour of evil ninja cult The Hand appears to have hallmarks of bloodsuckery to it – immortality, mystical ancient magic and er, lots of the red stuff.
Might we get a subtle nod that the second phase of Marvel’s Netflix shows will feature a sharp-toothed vampire-killing vigilante?
Claire Temple gets to be White Tiger
Claire, the nurse played by Rosario Dawson, has been bringing her world-weary charm and crucial medical skills to all the Marvel TV shows, but there’s been hope amongst fans that she might finally get some superhero skills of her own.
The one getting most traction is that of White Tiger, a character who attains superhuman traits thanks to the power of the Jade Tiger amulets. Claire now has some fighting skills thanks to training with Colleen Wing and she claimed ownership of some claw-like weapons in ‘Iron Fist’.
Dawson’s Hispanic heritage also lends the idea credibility – at least two of the female incarnations of the character have been Latina (as well Hector Ayala, the first White Tiger).
The Punisher eventually joining the team
We know that Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) will show up in ‘The Defenders’ as well as his own solo series, but top Marvel creative Jeph Loeb was fairly vague about whether he’d ever join the team full-time, telling Collider, “Frank Castle’s Punisher is a character that sort of does well by himself. I think that when you start mixing [his character with others], it feels a little off.”
But fans point to the fact that ‘The Defenders’ seems to have echoes of a comic series called ‘Marvel Knights’, which had the Punisher fighting alongside Luke Cage and Daredevil amongst others.
If that’s the case, then Frank will have to learn some social skills.
Luke Cage and Jessica Jones – man and wife?
We’ve seen Luke and Jessica getting seriously jiggy with it in the latter’s series, although it’s clear that Claire Temple has feelings for Cage in his show.
So will the comic book storyline of Luke marrying Jessica and the pair having a baby come to pass? Romantics will certainly hope so, while that kind of dynamic would definitely make for some fascinating character development as Marvel’s small screen universe goes on. After all, how does fighting something as nefarious as the Hand together change when you share a child? Do you take it in turns to do evening parenting duty or get a babysitter?
If nothing else, it raises the stakes even higher.
How will Karen react to Matt revealing his secret?
At the end of the second season of ‘Daredevil’, Matt Murdock told assistant-cum-love-interest Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) about his alter ego, although audiences didn’t get to see her properly digest the news.
So with Karen a regular feature of ‘The Defenders’, what’s going to happen next? There’s early evidence that Karen and Matt are speaking to each other, but has the romance gone? Clearly they have very different ways of viewing the world – Karen thinks the Punisher has good reason for doing what he does and she has murdered someone (albeit the Kingpin’s right-hand man).
But there’s an undeniable attraction between the pair and they’re both damaged – perfect Marvel couple!
Luke and Danny become Heroes for Hire
Back in 1978, Danny Rand/Iron Fist hooked up with Luke to create private investigation agency-slash-be-protected-by-a-superhero-service Heroes for Hire Inc. Misty Knight and Colleen Wing regularly appeared (and they’re also showing up in ‘The Defenders’), while it was founded by lawyer Jeryn Hogarth (whose name has been changed to Jeri and is played by Carrie-Anne Moss in the Netflix universe).
In other words, the comic book world has good precedent for Danny and Luke to establish a close relationship and end up going into business together somewhere down the line.
Of course, the partnership was broken when Cage was blamed for Rand’s apparent death, but that would add plenty of creative fuel to future seasons of both their shows, as well as ‘Defenders’ sequels.
An introduction to the Daughters of the Dragon
Two of the fans’ favourite characters across the Marvel Netflix universe are Colleen Wing and Misty Knight, played by Jessica Henwick and Simone Missick respectively, who are kickass sidekicks to the superheroes Iron Fist and Luke Cage.
Both feature in ‘The Defenders’, which has led some to start calling for Marvel to greenlight a ‘Daughters of the Dragon’ standalone show. And who are these daughters, you may ask? Well, after briefly appearing together as a fighting team in ‘Heroes for Hire’ back in 1977, Colleen and Misty were given bigger billing in short stories at the beginning of the 1990s, before getting their own limited ‘Daughters of the Dragon’ series in 2005.
But ‘The Defenders’ would be a brilliant way to launch the duo as the bona fide stars of their own show, adding another female-led series on top of ‘Jessica Jones’, as well as giving these two compelling actresses a chance to shine.
Plus, ‘Daughters of the Dragon’ is such a cool name, it just needs to happen.
The return of Wilson Fisk
Vincent D’Onofrio’s chrome-domed antagonist, the Kingpin, is one of the coolest things about the Netflix Marvel franchise – a baddie who’s terrifying and evil, but has layers and reasons for his villainy.
While he was imprisoned in ‘Daredevil’ season one, he popped up briefly in the second series and the actor has suggested that audiences haven’t seen the last of Fisk.
“I know he will come back, I just don’t know when,” D’Onofrio told Collider recently. He’s intimated that won’t be in ‘Defenders’, but don’t be surprised if that’s a bait-and-switch. After all, Wilson’s got payback on his mind.
An ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ crossover
One of the great things about the Marvel universe being so rich and varied is that sometimes you forget they do all exist in the same space.
Let’s face it, there’s nothing like a good crossover – and it’d be so cool to see Phil Coulson showing up on the streets of New York to dish out some advice to Jessica, Luke, Matt and Danny.
Not only that, but Robbie Reyes, aka Ghost Rider, has recently shown up in ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ and according to comic book lore, Ghost Rider was once a member of The Defenders, so…
You can watch all episodes from season one of ‘The Defenders’ on Netflix from 18th August.